Houma Scores First TD, Kerridge Injured

Although senior captain Joe Kerridge left Michigan's 28-7 win over UNLV Saturday, fellow senior Sione Houma stepped in admirably on a big production day out of the position.

Long forgotten as a featured option in Ann Arbor, the full back position appears to be in a full blown revival mode under first year Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Between senior captain Joe Kerridge and senior Sione Houma, the two bruisers accounted for four rushes and four catches in Saturday's 28-7 win over UNLV.

That's right, eight touches in total -- for full backs.

"Our full backs were really involved today," Harbaugh said afterward. "It was a good football game to be a full back.

"Joe and Sione contributed in the running game, not only as blockers but they were carrying the ball and catching balls out of the backfield."

The bad news for Michigan's budding full back controversy is Kerridge left the game in the third quarter following a catch and carry for nine yards near midfield.

Kerridge did not return with an apparent ankle injury. Asked about Kerridge's status afterward, Jim Harbaugh offered little detail, stating, "we'll see."

With Kerridge out, the opportunity increased vastly for Houma.

Early in the fourth quarter with Michigan sitting on the UNLV six yard line eyeing a third and short scenario, Houma came free out of the backfield, Jake Rudock hitting him in stride.

Attempting to dodge a UNLV defender, Houma appeared to score the first touchdown of his career but the call on the field was reversed after replay determined Houma's knee touched the ground at the half yard line.

"I felt like I was (in)," Houma said. "I looked to the side and saw the ref go like that (signal touchdown), and I celebrated with my teammates. It was fun."

For the moment, Houma thought he missed his chance.

On the very next play though, Michigan made sure the touchdown stood, going right back to the full back who barreled his way into the end zone to give the Wolverines a 28-0 advantage.

"When they told me I was surprised," Houma said. "I just said, I'm going to make the most of this one."

"There's no feeling like scoring your first touchdown at the big house, on your home turf," Houma added. "It felt good."

Often a thankless job and one that requires a great deal of toughness, Houma says it's a lot easier taking on a blocker knowing he and Kerridge are a part of the game plan.

"Transitioning from hitting a linebacker to getting the ball, your mindset has to change quick," Houma said. "If you're getting the ball you know you've got to protect it and fined the holes and hit it."

"You get excited. It's just the feeling you get knowing whether you're going to get the ball or not."

As Michigan's practice week kept going leading up to Saturday's tilt with UNLV, Houma says the full backs became a larger part of the game plan, noting he knew there was a chance he could be used a lot.

Although his partner in crime Joe Kerridge exited the game with a turned ankle, Houma credits No. 36 for his guidance and leadership in the running back room.

"Joe Kerridge, he's been helping me, bringing me along and helping me out throughout the process, learning the plays and all that," Houma said. "I give credit to him for bringing me a long."


The Michigan Insider Top Stories